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Table of Contents Enchanted Learning
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NEPTUNE

Introduction to Neptune Inside Neptune Neptune's Rings Neptune's Atmosphere and the Great Dark Spot Neptune's Moons Activities, Web Links

NEPTUNE'S RINGS
Neptune is circled by a system of very thin, dark rings located in clumps. These rings are are composed of small rocks and dust. They almost circular (unlike Uranus' elliptical ring system). There are three distinct rings, named Adams, Le Verrier and Galle (after the discovers of Neptune) plus a wide plateau of dust adjacent to the Le Verrier ring (this wide sheet of orbiting dust is co-orbital with the moon Galatea).

These rings have been very difficult to detect because they are not uniform in thickness and density. The thicker part of the rings are called ring arcs; these are the parts of the rings that are more easily detected. The Adams ring has three prominent arcs (named Liberty, Equality and Fraternity). The gravitational pull of Neptune's moons may cause the unevenness of the rings. Some of Neptune's smaller moons may 'shepherd' the inner rings with their gravitational forces.




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